Church Calls On Legislature To Legalize Medical Marijuana
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Seven weeks before election day, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it wants the Utah legislature to hold a special session to legalize medical marijuana before the end of the year.
Proposition 2, on the ballot November 6th, would let the voters decide.
The director of community and government relations, Marty Stephens, told KSL the Church favors appropriate access to medical marijuana, but does not believe Prop 2 has safeguards that will eliminate adverse consequences.
“We want to find a Utah solution, and that’s what the Church is in favor of,” said Stephens.
The Utah State Legislature has weighed medical marijuana bills without acting in recent years. The Church believes a coalition that includes the state medical association and the PTA could craft legislation quickly for legislators to pass in a special session in late November, or early December.
“Let’s defeat Prop 2. Let’s have a special session before the end of the year,” said Stephens. “Let’s not put this off any longer that will solve this problem in a Utah way that will give access to those in need.”
He said discussions were going on right now of the principles of a bill to show the governor and legislature within weeks.
Prop 2 supporters said they are staying the course.
“We are going to remain vigilant to make sure the voters’ will is enacted should this pass in November,” said D.J. Schanz, director of the Utah Patients Coalition. “We’re not overly concerned.“
He said they’ve known all along the legislature may modify the proposition should it pass in November. He said supporters were confident in the measure before the voters.
“At this point in time, seeing that it’s on the ballot, I think that it should be the people that make this decision,” said Schanz. “Thousands of people have worked long hours. People have donated all kinds of money to make this happen. It’s on the people’s plate right now to make the decision.”
It would be up to the governor to call the special session. His office said Monday, it was still premature for a decision on a special session for medical marijuana.
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